A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
Chelsea have completed the signing of striker Demba Ba for an undisclosed fee, believed to be about £7million. The Senegalese striker has signed a three year deal at Stamford Bridge and could make his debut in the FA cup match against Southampton. Ba, who will wear the number 29 shirt, said it was an easy decision to make when Chelsea came calling:
“When the club who won the Champions League wants you, the decision is very easy. This club is massive and that's something that helped the decision a lot. It was not a hard one."
John Terry has suggested that Chelsea should retire Frank Lampard’s number 8 shirt when he leaves the club. The defender had seemed to confirm that Lampard was leaving in the summer on his instagram account, but later said he was only going off the quotes allegedly made by Lampard’s agent Steve Kutner about his summer exit, quotes that Kutner has since denied saying.
Terry will not be fit the FA cup clash with Southampton, and Peter Cech has also been ruled out of the match. Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel are available to play, though they will leave after the match to join up with the Nigeria squad ahead of the African Cup of Nations.
Rafa Benitez has defended his decision to rest players for the loss to QPR, and said that he will continue to rotate players as it is necessary if Chelsea are to avoid tiredness and injuries. However resting Juan Mata in particular has cost Chelsea this season, with the Blues yet to win a league game in which the Spanish player hasn’t featured.
Southampton will be without Adam Lallana once again, but should have Gaston Ramirez and Nathanial Clyne in contention to play. One man who will be ready to play against his old club is Jack Cork, who left Chelsea in 2011 having never made a first team appearance for them.
Kevin De Bruyne and Florent Malouda are both reportedly being targeted by European clubs. Evian might target Malouda, who is out of favour at Stamford Bridge and desperate to leave, whilst perpetual loanee De Bruyne is being chased by a pack of German clubs with Schalke current favourites to sign the Belgian in the summer.
Real Betis have warned Chelsea and Manchester City that they will not be selling their midfielder Benat cheaply this January. The players has a release clause of €20 million, and that is the minimum that will be required for either club to sign the player.
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